Step forward, Amy Winehouse.
Yeah right, do you think I'm fucking blind as well as stupid?
No, the real recipient is Angelina Jolie. Now I know it's a controversial choice because she's mad as a box of ferrets, cuts herself, was a little bit too close to her brother, disrespects her venerable old Daddy John Voight, had a mad marriage to nutter Billy Bob, adopts kids and gives them stupid names and she stole Brad off poor Jennifer. She also seems to be experimenting with fad diets lately, such as the 'no-food' diet and 'don't eat' diet and so on. However, the Lovely Girls jurors (i.e. me) are all equal opportunities perverts and there's nothing that the perfect combination of smile, bum, boobs and lips cannot over rule.
Career-wise, I'm not too sure if she's done anything of note to be honest besides stand about looking lovely, but you know, sometimes that's enough to be a Lovely Girl. Gaming geeks will of course remember her starring as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider, some sort of archaeologist or other who wore shorts and a tee shirt so tight they'd give give you a deep vein thrombosis just looking at them. She also played some sort of loony lesbian model in a film called Gia, whose plot I have no recollection of save for the loony lesbian bits and isn't it funny the parts that stay with you ha ha ahem cough cough.
Her most recent flick, A Mighty Heart, saw her take a turn for the serious. She played a journalist whose husband is kidnapped by a bunch of bad hoors out in Pakistan and the film follows her efforts to get him back. It was dark stuff, and as I feared going in to the cinema, somewhat low on laughs and comedic content, but very good overall and sure you never get slapstick in these hostage dramas any more. And of course Angelina came through all the painful harrowing scenes with her loveliness still intact despite the sweaty environment, flies, and her crazy-looking bubble perm. Nice French accent too, yum.
I just wish she'd eat a few bags of chips now and again to get her curves back. Not that if she came knocking - and she's certain to be in touch once the Hollywood grapevine informs her that she's made the Lovely Girls here on Moo-Dog - I'd be in a position to turn her away or anything. Oh no, you see I'm not exactly beating the ladies off. On holidays last year for instance, I went to kiss the Blarney Stone and it told me to fuck off. True story.
About two months ago I stole a work colleague's Toffee Crisp for a joke and now I'm not sure whether I should just eat the feckin' thing or give it back.
She suspects me as the thief alright because apparently it's "typical of the shite I'd get up to" but she can't be absolutely certain it's me that nicked it. And in truth I've done a really good job of deflecting attention elsewhere. I'm a good bullshitter.
It's been a small laugh in fairness. I set up a special email address and started sending her messages purporting to be from the robbers, warning her not to go to the cops, don't wear a wire (as in listening device, not her bra like) and basically said don't mess us about we're serious people. Plus assorted other ransom note clichés from old cop shows.
I attached pictures of the Toffee Crisp in the emails I sent and had little messages in there from the bar itself, pleading with her to do whatever the robbers demanded or else they'd put it on a radiator to die. Or allow its expiry date come and go and basically just let it melt to a horrible mucky, chocolatey death. She's been enjoying the craic of the whole thing to be honest but it's all run out of steam now. I told her in the last email that if she wanted it back she had to stand up in the office and say in a really loud voice in front of everyone: "All I want is my toffee crisp back. You bastards!"
And do you know what? She never bothered her hole. It goes out of date in November and now I'm wondering what to do with it. Making a sheepish approach to her desk and returning it is, on reflection, out of the question. I'll have to think on it.
It's pressing matters like these that weigh upon the minds of important men like me.
I was flicking through one of the ragloids today and it seems Gardaí are hot on the tail of some heavy breather who's been calling up unsuspecting women to talk dirty to them about their knickers. As opposed to calling them up and talking about dirty knickers. Now that would be sick.
Apparently the 'clever' perv has been calling random women for about six months now, telling them they've won a lingerie voucher from a top store, before proceeding to take down their particulars. Presumably he gets all hot and bothered on the other end and starts tearing at himself while the excited and breathless ladies reveal their vital statistics in anticipation of a few free bras. Gardaí are now warning women not to talk about their knickers to any old punter who rings them up, a solid piece of advice I think, because it'd be all too easy to reveal intimate details to a stranger offering opulent wonders like vouchers for jocks, such as your credit card number, penis size, confession to involvement in the Shergar kidnap and so on.
It all reminds me of a spoof alert email I got sent ages ago:
"Warning. If a man with a clipboard wearing a white coat calls to your door asking to see your cock, DON'T DO IT. HE JUST WANTS TO SEE YOUR COCK!"
What really amused me about the newspaper article though, and by now it really shouldn't, was how the rag pounced on the opportunity to publish pictures of a few scantily-clad females. As in, shock horror, isn't this a terrible carry-on altogether but in the meantime, here's some breasts.
Sigh. Any old excuse. It's like the photos they attach to the agony aunt serials, which might start off in Monday's paper being about something innocent like, say, an ingrown toenail, but by Friday everyone is getting their kit off and having debauched orgy sex while a thought bubble says something like: "This is so wrong, I really love my husband but the sex is mighty and helps me forget all about my ingrown toenail."
Is there anyone out there fooled by this shite?
I was just about to go to the gym there last night and was getting into my tracksuit in front of the telly, when I flicked the channel to RTE 1. 'Nationwide' was on.
Normally when I stumble across this programme while channel surfing, I say to myself "Oh Look! Nationwide is on! Great! Unfortunately however, I have to go and stick pins in my balls now, and can't watch it. Shame."
It all changed last night though. Nationwide had cows on it, and I was immediately drawn in. Sexy cows at that. I shit you not. I have a bit of a thing for cows as you might tell from the title of the blog. I grew up in a rural area with a few of them more or less in my back garden, encountered them almost every day as I lived close to a mart, plus I eat lots of steak and like women in tight leather. So it's clear - cows are the animals that just keep on giving.
Anyhoo, last night's edition of Nationwide saw the cameras visit my home county of Cavan for the Agricultural Show in Virginia. They were there to film the best cow competition or the lovely cow pageant or whatever the feck it was called, and in truth it was a bit of an eye-opener for me. The amount of preparation and grooming that goes into getting cows ready for a show is mind-boggling.
They get their backs shampooed, sheared and clipped. Their tails are fluffed and dried with a hair-dryer. Fresh straw is rotated through the stalls every few hours. A team of attendants caters for their every whim to ensure the animals are kept spotless and presentable at all times. But just when I thought it couldn't get any more surreal, it did.
The narrator says in a cheery voice: "And someone has to be at hand to lift the tail at the crucial time!" And do you know what the crucial time was? Yep. When the cow needed to take a shit or a piss, some poor fecker had to lift its tail, and press a bucket to its arse to stop it soiling its lovely pampered haunches. And then they had to wipe its hole. Holy Moley, I could scarcely believe that some poor bastard has that as their job. On reflection though, appearing in the judging ring with the backs of your legs covered in piss and poo wouldn't do much for your chances of victory, and they wouldn't stand for it at the Rose of Tralee either.
They had an expert judge flown in from Wales from the event, somebody Jones probably. "Look at those cows," he cooed in a soft hushed lilt, "their heads are up, their ears are pricked, their udders swollen with milk, oh yes they're just loving this." Er, ok mate calm down.
The winner, by the way, was an absolute monster cow from Kerry. Apparently she was the biggest bovine in the show and pumps out ten gallons of milk a day without fail. She was quite a good-looking cow as well, nice and black and white and she had an udder on her that slapped between her legs like two huge ostrich eggs in a silk hanging basket.
Turned me right on.*
* It didn't actually, I'm joking for God's sake.
That night, I discovered just why he was called 'Big' while, across town, a frustrated Samantha was wondering why her new boyfriend was called Woody, because he was anything but.
The real purpose of this post is to acknowledge my addiction to stationery. There, I've said it.
I've a day off work today you see and under the guise of being 'productive' and 'tidying up,' I was earnestly shifting the mess at the bottom of my wardrobe from one side to the other when I happened upon a large box. That I didn't recall seeing the previous time I had shifted the mess from one side to the other, back in 1986.
Immediately abandoning whatever I was supposed to be doing I started rummaging around and found three leather-bound journals, two A4 foolscaps with subject dividers, three small Moleskin notebooks, a leather-bound organiser with a zip on it and two foolscaps of squared paper inside, one small police-man type notepad and two other small unlined notebooks with magnetic clasps. And, a Cross fountain pen, a Parker pen and a normal Cross pen.
I'm clearly some sort of lunatic. I sat there thumbing through it all trying to remember where I'd got it. Thee was bits of writing in some, snatches of ideas here and there, an account of something funny I saw jotted hastily down in another. The smaller books are ones that I've carried in my pockets daily, so I could dash down my next ingenious idea or record my latest bizarre observance or other. I seem to have filled a few pages in each and then when passing Easons have just had to buy another one and start using it instead.
The pens are presents from former girlfriends. It seems people decide to buy me pens for my birthday like they gravitate towards buying their Dads socks at Christmas. Ach sure get him a pen, he loves the ould pens, can't never have enough of the ould pens. The mad hoor.
I do love pens though. I found a shop in Barcelona last year with really nice ones and spent half of our first day there scribbling away while herself tried not to explode. I went back the day before we left as well but the one I wanted had been sold. Which is just as well because when I do actually sit down to write anything it's invariably at a PC, i.e. no need for a pen.
But does that stop me buying them? Me hole it does.
And if anyone's missing a rain forest, it's in my wardrobe. On the left.
I've just had a disturbing thought.
The first line of about 80% of the posts I've published here could pass as openers for one of Carrie Bradshaw's newspaper columns in Sex and the City.
Try it. Just pick a first line, and imagine Carrie narrating it as she sits at her laptop (dressed like a feckin' pirate or something, crazy bint), poised to write another engrossing article about blow jobs etc. for the paper.
I'll have to keep an eye on that.
I think it was Spike Milligan who said he had the body of an 18 year old - apparently he kept it at home in his fridge. In similar fashion, I have the body of a pensioner, but sadly I actually have to live in mine.
Pursuing fitness and personal health comes at a cost to your fitness and health you know. You see, I've been taking a little rest from the gym the past week because of a few niggles to my knees (both of them), back (all of it), and neck, and shoulders and ankles, plus me calves and shins. I've been using the time to eat lots of crap and reflect on just what a steaming pile of shite my body is. No seriously. I've never played a rough team sport or had a serious injury or spell of hospitalisation in my life, yet if I get so much as a whiff of a treadmill the cursed thing nearly puts me in traction for a month.
It's frustrating, I'm pissed off. All's I want is to do my little bit of health-giving gymming a few times a week and not end up shuffling around in a hunch going "oooooh me lumbago" every five minutes. I'm starting to think I'm just poorly put together and made of genetic spare parts or something, like God had nothing left so he put me together from whatever was left on the shelf.
I've tried to get it sorted out professionally. I went to a chiropractor first of all, who assessed how I walk and gave me things to put in my shoes and told me I was mis-aligned up my right hand side and had fallen arches. This was alot to take in at one go, it sounded like I was for the knacker's yard but she was quite cute and kept smiling at me so I got over it. She then proceeded to fling me around the room for a few minutes, crunching so many bits that I sounded like a herd of pigs eating a trough full of almonds. I went through this regularly for a few months and after every visit my condition would improve slightly, but at one stage I just stopped going after realising I could be seeing this person for the rest of my life for short term gains but without ever truly sorting my aches and pains out. And the chiropractor was quite happy to continue taking my money and was becoming noticeably evasive when I pushed for feedback and details on my progress. So I gave her the arse.
Now I go to an Osteopath. He crunches me too but also sticks little needles in me and makes me do funny stretches and routines and stuff. I should soon qualify for employment at the Ministry of Silly Walks, if they'll have me. Injuries permitting and all. So far results have been good though, I've made much more progress than with the chiropractor but all the while, still know that if I try anything wild, like say a sprint on the treadmill, or a few minutes on the rower, I could end up bed-ridden for the rest of my days.
There's times I wonder if I have muscle and bone at all like normal folk. Or will my osteopath turn to me one day and go, "Ah yes I've found the problem. Instead of the normal skeletal structures, you're actually made up of an elaborate network of chicken wire and elastic bands. That's why you're such a spongy git. You're fucked. 50 quid please."
Sure I'll be sorted eventually. Fingers crossed. Although very carefully. Just in case.
Last week's whole Stauntongate affair - as in, there's the gate Stan, don't let it hit your arse on the way out - got me thinking about other hapless sportsmen whose rank lack of talent and sheer unsuitability for their role have endeared them to us all forever. Which isn't to say Stan has exactly endeared himself to us yet but in the fullness of time we shall look back and laugh. No, really.
Remember Eddie the Eagle Edwards? He was the ski-jumper who wore preposterously huge glasses like Su Pollard, had a chin like Jimmy Hill and possessed the sporting prowess of a sloth with bronchitis, yet somehow found fame as a ski jumper at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Canada. I was only a nipper at the time but was instantly fascinated as this gurning galoot hurled himself towards possible death on a daily basis, against a backdrop of universal ridicule, and finished last every time. I mean for Jasus' sake, out of all the sports out there that he could have been shit at, and there truly must have been many, did he have to pick one where finishing in a heap of mangled bones was a real possibility? Anyway, I checked up on Eddie and he's a plasterer now, and perhaps only occasionally takes mad notions and jumps off his step ladder when there's nobody around. In any case, he's only gone and sold the movie rights to his story and Steve (Alan Partridge) Coogan is set to star as him. This comes on top of his autobiography and other cash from after dinner and 'motivational' speaking, something Stan might hopefully never contemplate, ever. So while Eddie might be daft, he's not stupid.
Then there was Eric the Eel Moussambani. The Equatorial Guinea swimmer managed to get into the 2000 Sydney Olympics and in a three-man heat, somehow qualified for the 100m final - because the other two competitors were disqualified for false starts. The eel inched home in excruciating but hilarious fashion in a time that was actually outside the 200m record it was so slow, but sure he was absolute complete and utter shite, and so everyone loved him. Swimming professionally isn't easy I know, but poor Eric seemed to have trouble with the mere fundamentals like er, floating, moving and probably, breathing. A lifeguard had to stand by as he finished his race, in case the poor fecker drowned. It later emerged he'd only been swimming for 8 months, training in a crocodile-infested river near his home. I shit you not. He later got his times down to respectable levels, but didn't make the next Olympics because of a visa wrangle. Awwww.
Trevor the Tortoise anyone? This one's a cracker. Trevor Misipeka was a 22-stone Samoan (that's him in the pic) who had entered the shot-putt at the 2003 World Athletics Championships. Some fiddledly rule change or other meant he couldn't participate in his chosen event and so, with nothing else to do, he entered the 100m instead. Shot-putt and sprinting? Hardly the closest of bedfellows - it'd be like entering a dressage horse in the synchronised swimming. Anyway, the bould Trevor lumbered his way through the heat in a time of 14.28 and went on to enjoy his 15 minutes of. I think he went on to be an American footballer.
There's more you know. It's almost de rigeur these days to be from a warm country and enter a bob sleigh team, but Jamaica did it first as celebrated in the film Cool Runnings. Sure we've even been at it ourselves, with Galway-born Clifton Wrottersley finishing fourth in the men's skeleton, despite sounding like a posh bully from the Beano comics.
And Armenia had a two-man bobsled team in 2002, despite having to do most of their training in sunny California. In fact, so ill-equipped were the entrants that the first time they did a proper bob-sledding run on a real track, the g-forces sucked the air out of their lungs and the poor bastards hyper ventilated. Good Lord.
So, all is not lost for Stan yet. If he embraces his newfound status as some sort of bungling panto villain, he could turn a few more quid if nothing else.
I had a rotten tooth reefed out by the dentist ages ago and was both surprised and amazed to recently notice that a new one was growing in its place.
Back to Al Dente's with me for a check-up - he's not Italian or anything but I call all dentists this - and I could hardly wait to direct him to the molar miracle taking place where previously he thought there was only pain and decay.
"Look! Look!" I exclaimed breathlessly as he started rotating the chair. "It's growing back! The tooth you took out is growing back!"
He seemed unsuitably not exactly bowled over by my news.
"And I'm 31 like! Sure I shouldn't be growing teeth," I added, certain that if my bloody hair had decided to stop making the effort then surely my teeth would be following suit.
Dentist-like, Al Dente merely said: "Well let's take a look then."
As he rummaged and tinkered around in me gob and ummed and ahhed, I lay there contemplating the amazing restorative powers of my unique body. I pondered life as a master thief in Saudi Arabia, where the authorities amputate your limbs as punishment if they catch you, but to me this would of course be no deterrent whatsoever. My amazing body would simply sprout new arms and legs on demand and while I legged it away over the horizon cackling manically and flipping the bird to the towel-head authorities, I'd scream at them that they should have lopped off my willy as well, I could do with growing a bigger one ho ho ho.
I was interrupted from my reverie by Al telling me, with a sympathetic grin I just knew he reserved for kids, that it was actually my wisdom tooth coming up. Removing the other tooth had simlply made room for it in my "overcrowded mouth."
Great. So not only am I not Superman, I have a mouth stocked like a tenement.
"Thanksh alog Al."
Anyhoo, the tooth is literally out there now. Norman wisdom-tooth is edging his way out of my sore gums a little every day. When he stops making my jaw swell and hurt I'll come to love him like the others but it's hard not to think of what might have been.
All the same, at least my lonely hearts ads of the future can have the added enticement "has full set of teeth." The ladies like this apparently, especially the ones who can't cook I assume.
...because you're not really a very good-looking woman at all actually.
This is one of the things that amuses me about Ireland. As long as you're a famous Irish woman, under menopausal age and don't have an arse like a Clydesdale horse, all and sundry will proclaim that you are beautiful. Even when you're not. What's going on?
Take Lorraine Keane for example. Supposedly she's walking viagra but to me she's just an alright looking bird, bit skinny, who gets to wear nice clothes on telly while talking reams and reams of vitally unimportant shite* about some celebrity adopting a one-legged orphan from Guatemala. But, she's relatively glamorous and stuff so every time you read anything about her, it's the 'lovely Lorraine' and the 'sexy host' and 'Glamour puss' Keane. Me arse.
It's not a recent phenomenon either. For God's sake, back in the eighties, feckin' Biddy from Glenroe was virtually the next Sophia Loren according to the Sunday World. She achieved this despite regularly appearing on screen in wellies and shit-splattered overalls, while checking backed-up hens for eggs with her bare hands and talking to husband Miley about potato blight. Fuck me pink(s). Nevertheless, it was widely accepted that she was the next Maureen O'Hara.
Glenroe was full of other yokes that the media loved to call gorgeous. Terry Killeen was a character that was humping Dick Moran and because she was blonde, slim and wore make up, the press was creaming itself over her for weeks. 'Racy' they called her. There was another blonde yoke worked in the pub in Glenroe who was a compulsive liar and had a witch's mole on her chin, but guess what, she was sex on legs too. Ach will you ever piss off with yourselves.
In the modern era, besides Lorraine Keane, we are apparently in the midst of a sex-siren boom. I think all these rides of women are being farmed somewhere at a secret midlands location, using an original prototype recognised hottie like Theresa Lowe off the seminal RTE quiz 'Where in the World'. I imagine Lowe to have gremlin-like qualities and every time the media needs a new beauty to talk up, they defrost her from the cryogenic chamber where she sleeps and throw a bucket of water on her. And duly, out pops a few absolute, ahem, stunners. Like Suzanne off Fair City, or Bertie Ahern's daughters. Although I think someone fed poor Suzanne after midnight. Or Amanda Brunker and the Kaneswaren sisters. Oh and lest we forget, any old munter that wins the Rose of Tralee - instant babe status.
How are we supposed to be a nation of begrudgers with all this aggrandising of ordinary-looking women going on?
*Thank you Fitzbollix.
We're walking back from lunch and we see a big industrial-sized skip....
D: Jasus, look at the size of that skip. I bet yer man that owns it bores people in the pub talking about the size of it and all the other sizes of skips you can order. And everyone's there going yeah yeah skips, right, shut up will ya...
Me: Yeah. I've a brother like that. He doesn't keep skips though, he keeps dogs. And if you get him started talking about them he goes on and on for ages. He's really mad into them, brings them to shows and wins prizes all the time and stuff.
D: Has he many dogs? Like loads, say more than ten?
Me: Well, er I dunno. If one of his dogs had pups then he may have more than ten I suppose. But I think he normally has about six.
D: Six what?
Me: Dogs. Boxers. Adult boxers.
D: He keeps adult boxers?
Me: Yeah. (Pause)
Heh heh, he's got like Mike Tyson and Barry McGuigan and Lennox Lewis all out the back of his house in a shed eating pedigree chum. Ha ha.
D: Yeah. Ha ha. Adult boxers. Maybe he just keeps all these pairs of adult boxer shorts as pets and walks them around on leads and stuff and makes them do tricks.
Me: Yeah ha ha and the little gap where you piss out of, that's where their mouths are and they scurry about the floor barking at strangers like guard knickers, woof woof woof...
D: Yeah. Ha ha. Wish we didn't have to back to work.
Is it any wonder I'm the way I am?
I was attacked by a bowl of porridge this morning would you believe. It was all my arse's fault.
Now don't get me wrong. I like porridge. Nowadays anyway. For years I actually loathed it as a lumpy, curdled gloop that only my grandad could possibly like, and at that, only because still-near memories of the famine made him eat all sorts of foul shite and exhort us young 'uns to stop moaning and get that stirabout down our necks. Nah. Industrial-sized pots of thick pasty porridge bubbling on our stove didn't so much make me hanker for a bowl of goodness as start me wondering why my mother was boiling a colony of lepers for breakfast.
Alas, my whining, refusals and arguments about corn flakes fell on deaf ears. I was made eat it, and so childhood school mornings were a daily endurance test as I gagged my way through to the bottom of the bowl.
The ad on TV and radio used to bring me out in a cold sweat. Some posh perfect mumsy type chirping cheerfully: "Start the day the Flahavan's way, the natural way to start the day, a fibre fit way to start the day on a cold and frosty morning." Pah, stick it up your hole Mrs. Von Trapp.
All that I had to endure did afford me a sort of kudos at school however, where classmates were amazed that both force-feeding and Dickensian poorhouse breakfasts were still features of modern Ireland. They didn't think I was hard or anything, just stoic and deserving of respect for bearing uncool parents with such quiet dignity.
As soon as I was old enough, myself and porridge parted ways for a long time. I got in with all sorts of cheerios, cocoa pops, Kellogg's Start and other flaky characters. But then, after years in the wilderness I decided I wanted to be fit and healthy, took up going to the gym and started hearing all sorts of wonderful things about porridge. Carbs. Lean protein. GI rating. Wow. It seemed the old pot of stodge was making a come back. It was cool to eat porridge!
I've been eating it for quite some time now. I make it myself so it's never lumpy, add lots of milk so it's never thick and a spoonful of honey sweetens the medicine and helps it all go down and quite why this sentence involves Mary Poppins imagery I'm not sure.
Anyway, before I forget the reason for this post, me and the porridge were getting along just fine until I sat down beside a steaming bowl of it this morning without realising that the lip of the place mat it was resting on was poking over the side of the table. My arse snagged it on the way past as I sat. The place mat flipped. The bowl went flying. And there was my porridge like road kill all over the carpet and all over me.
The next few things I said had alot of asterisks in.
Then I stood up and as my breakfast oozed down my legs to the floor like grey lava, I wondered was this payback for all the nasty things I said about it in the past. Or maybe my arse is still too big.
Did you know that stepping across the threshold of the jacks at work is like stepping into a different world?
Being in the toilet when a work colleague walks in is highly embarrassing. It doesn't matter if it's your best mate, someone you don't like or a person you've just been speaking to outside for 20 minutes. You think, damn! there's someone here and I hate this because I don't know what to say to another bloke when I'm holding my own penis. Or even if I should say anything. So, we sigh deeply, puff our cheeks distractedly, hum, or stare at a spot on the wall above the urinal and secretly wish it was all over so we can zip up and escape. Or, if we do talk (to cover up the heavily pregnant silence), it's nearly worse than staying quiet because it's a strained conversation full of forced laughter and is generally about the first dull topic that springs to mind. Like the weather. Or were you out at the weekend. Or the football results. Or sex life of oompah loompahs.
It's all understandable I suppose. We're there to carry out functions that involve our willies, arseholes and unpleasant smells and noises. It's therefore something we'd rather do alone and without social interaction. Think about it. You're on the bog and someone knocks on the door and says "anyone in there?" How simply excruciating it is to even have to speak one line and say "er, yeah, me." It's just horrible. It's not like the unisex kharzees on Ally McBeal at all.
This is where the stalls offer sanctuary though. If there's someone at the urinals you can always give them the slip and duck into the good old stalls. Unless there's someone in the stall next to it of course; like, how off-putting is it to be in a stall when the person next to you is birthing a brown one and grunting like they're pushing a cartload of turnips up a steep hill? I tell you, going to the jacks at work is to be dreaded and feared and don't even get me started on the times people forgot to lock the door and were stumbled upon with their pants down. It's hard to laugh it off when someone's looking at you taking a shit, there's no two ways about it.
There's also the times when you try to stay quiet in the stalls and hope the others outside don't know you're there, but if they linger then you're forced into trying to delicately complete manoeuvres in a gentlemanly way so folk don't think you're a total minger with an arse that would peel paint off a wall. Attempting this is a tense affair. All too often you relax just a bit too much and suddenly the quiet is pierced by a sharp stealth fart that's out and running around waving a big flag before you even knew it was there. Rumbled. The old 'warning sniff' or 'caution cough' is the best course of action at all times. Everyone knows where they stand then.
Then there are those blessed grown-up days when, possessed by insight, you think to yourself that this messing about is all very stupid and illogical and you should just stand at the feckin' urinal next to someone and take a piss for Jaysus' sake. However, on these days you can be almost certain that the other guy will play the part of the embarrassed one and so any effort you might make at being breezy and normal falls flat on its face.
And if someone rings your mobile when you're in the jacks, are you supposed to answer it or what?
I dunno. Personally, I'm not helped by this one slightly creepy guy at work who always seems to be in the jacks when I go in. At the same urinal every time, standing in a slouch, languidly drying his willie. It's very disturbing in itself, as if I didn't have enough to contend with what with being a man and everything.
I've just copped that today is Blog Action Day when bloggers are requested to publish a post with an environmental theme, to raise awareness of how we're making a right balls of the planet and buggering up the climate and so on.
My contribution is this - cows and farts. I'm equal parts obsessed by both so it's a neat axis on which to park this greenish missive.
Apparently, cow farts contribute to global warming. Who'd have thunk it? Their farts are seemingly full of methane - and who the intrepid cow fart researcher was I'd love to know - which traps more heat than usual culprit, CO2, and thus causes increased global warming. So a rattle from the cattle leaves us all in peril.
Der durty bastards dem cows. There's a joke in me somewhere about cows cutting the cheese too but I can't be arsed.
In support of the bovine population however, they are nice to eat and wear out of a Saturday night and even the problematic methane can be harnessed for electricity.
Do I get a prize now?
Meself and Miaow Cow were out for a bite in Malahide there last night. And sure then we had some food after it, wha? Wha? Eh, nudge, wink? I'm an awful man etc. etc.
Never mind. We were happily tucking in beside the seaside when suddenly, there the luminaries appeared. Steve Staunton, and as he might haltingly say himself, eh, the lads, eh, of the Are-land team, out for dinner.
I first spied Stan on his way back from the jacks. He looked faintly embarrassed and I wondered had he splashed the front of his trackie or something like that but quickly computed that it was all due to natural shyness. Not comfortable in the public gaze like. He joined the rest of the Irish party over in the corner and I immediately began taking sly glances over to see who I could recognise. Miaow Cow's interest was similarly piqued and she began adding important observances such as Steve Finnan being cute and that "they're all much better looking up close, they don't look as nice on the telly. Who's he again now? Ooooh. Why are they all called Kevin or Stephen?"
I was keeping an eye on Andy Reid to see was he wolfing down a burger and chips while the rest had their pasta and chicken, but I couldn't see around the portly man of the match v Germany to ascertain what his dinner was. I can confirm that he still hasn't shaved though if anyone's wondering.
Annoyingly, there was a slightly drunk eejit talking much too loudly in the restaurant all the while and he offered a running commentary on all the players as they filed past on their way out. There's John O'Shea there, he said helpfully, 'Man United he is', as a reddening O'Shea walked by. Similar wisdom was dispensed on matters Kevin Doyle, just in case his dizzying ascent to Premier League stardom has made him forget incidentals such as his name and club and stuff. Then he grabbed Robbie Keane's hand and gibbered breathlessly: "Yep here he is now the captain of the team, yeah, the captain. Robbie like. Keane." Keano wasn't sure where to look but he played safe and opted for the floor before extricating his arm and fleeing. Meanwhile, drunk clown's wife had gone over to the other players remaining at the table and was rabbiting some shite or other to bemused looks from Liam Miller. For Jaysus' sake woman.
Stephen Hunt was next to walk past and seems a right character. He robbed drunk lad's wine bottle and pretended to make off with it before coming back and plonking it on the table with a flourish, a big grin and a wee shake of his mad mop of curls. He bounced off chuckling to himself and then started chatting up the waitresses. A right little jester, he needs watching does that lad.
Poor old Bobby Robson went past next, all alone and limping very heavily and just looking like a really frail, lonely old man. It'd break your heart.
Then, while we were paying, Stan and his backroom homies walked past the till. Miaow Cow ventured a bashful starstruck greeting and he said hello back, thereby making Miaow Cow feel more special in one split second that I could manage in the previous hour, despite treating her to a slap up feed. Sheesh.
By the way I had salmon and she had chicken, and Kevin Kilbane needs a haircut.
I just saw Kim Wilde on the telly there and I'm not the better for it.
Who the Jasus is Kim Wilde you might ask? She was/is a blonde bombshell pop singer who first burst on the scene in 1981 with a tune called 'Kids in America.' I was only 5 at the time but on some nascent sexual level I fancied her rotten. Like, in that childish sort of way where you don't actually realise you fancy someone because you wouldn't actually learn about fancying girls until you were 10, but I still watched Top of the Pops until she came on and did her thing. I literally didn't know where to look or what precisely I was enjoying so much but I was still the most sexed up 5 year old in the village by some distance and that's not bad going. I guess it was a cross between a first crush and puppy love. A crush puppy if you will.
Anyhoo, she's about 46 now and brings in some extra wonga by appearing in adverts for healthfood chain Holland and Barrett. And boy has she let herself go. You know what they say about never meeting your heroes? Well, never check up on your crush puppy 20-odd years later, it'll only end in similar disappointment. Father time stalks us all.
Poor Kim. You can check out what she's been up to over on Wikipedia if you're interested, she hasn't had a bad old career I suppose.
Whatever she's like now, I'll always remember her in that video for Kids in America, wearing a stripey black and white top, like a stereotypical Frenchman. Except she was a bird and was minus the WWII bicycle, string of garlic round the neck, beret and waxed moustache. This would just have made Kim look silly.
It could be worse though, she could be still out there shaking it in soft-focus botox glory like Debbie Harry and Cher. Thankful for small mercies is me.
Lately I've been thinking about starting to smoke the pipe.
I can't quite fathom why I would want to do this but I can definitely say that on one level I'm worried that I have a deep yearning to be old in a corner somewhere eating semolina and stuff.
Age profile and general lack of yoof street cred aside however, the attractions of pipe smoking are manifold. For a start, you would instantly project a statesmanlike image of intelligence and learning. I'm having me some of that, nobody takes me seriously at all.
The pipe is actually in this regard a thoroughly great prop for gesticulating and intimidating with; you can jab the air to make an key point, wave it imperiously through the air to dismiss the flimsy argument of an opponent, or the coup de grace, even splutter with righteous indignation and have your monocle drop from your eye, should you happen to have one in. If all that isn't enough, there's the fact that Sherlock Holmes and Gandalf also smoked pipes. And he was a right clever bastard while nobody fucked with Gandalf either. Case closed.
Let's face it, everybody knows that smoking a pipe isn't really smoking at all and therefore isn't unhealthy.
Think about it. It's like alcohol free beer and decaffeinated coffee, all the fun, none of the risks. All pipe smokers are old aren't they, so, like, do the maths yourself. It's clearly life-enhancing and possibly, some sort of anti-ageing force. Plus it genuinely smells nice and filling it and cleaning it out, as well as learning how to light it without frazzling your fingers to sticks, is a fine art in itself and it's bits of our heritage like this that we're letting die out.
So there you have it.
The pipe is the way forward. Embrace the pipe.
Where do you stand on public displays of affection?
I've just been out to lunch there and have had to deal with the grotesque reality of two scobies snogging, at length, right before my very appalled eyes. They were in vision for some time and from quite a distance so I had ample time to take it all in, and anyway, much like looking at a car crash, couldn’t really look anywhere else.
Suffice to say it wasn't like they do it in the movies.
He was wearing light beige-coloured tracksuit bottoms, endearingly positioned quite a distance down his arse. You know, like the rappers on MTV although it was less fashion statement and more being totally banjoed at 1 o’clock on a weekday. Then again, he may well have thought it was a sexy look with those once-upon-a-time-we-were-white underpants bashfully poking above his waistband. Nice.
Ms. Scobe was similarly a la mode. In other words, she was crammed into supertight drain-pipe jeans that may well never return from her ass-crack without surgical intervention, or at the very least, fire-brigade cutting equipment. A tracksuit top of the standard Champion Sports stock was worn on top, with slicked hair that was tied in a bun and yes folks, said bun could well have included a burger as well given the grease present. The ensemble was off-set by humungous Pat Butcher earrings that possibly receive coded messages from space.
As in: "He-ur Dermo! Me fuggin earrings are talkin' shoigh again."
"Yeah roigh. Well. Lookit. Just fuggoffwillyeh I'm stashin' the drugs up the dog's arse."
Anyhoo, the scene is set, now to the kiss itself.
They had opted for the static, lips-locked-on approach, no head movement. Statuesque almost, if not quite the Pieta. As I approached and studied this glued-at-the-mouth embrace, I surmised that they might have been just passing drugs orally but it went on for waaaaay too long for that. Then I began to doubt myself and wondered was it just very lifelike inner-city sculpture. Up closer though it was clear that the pair of them were actually breathing and were plain old bollocksed. They could well have been unconscious and had just fallen asleep like that or something.
On yet closer inspection, there was a binbag between them and I wondered was this part of the streetscape - i.e. someone's household waste providing a charming prop, or was it actually their belongings. In any case I was soon distracted as she moved in for a closer clinch, accidentally dragging her partner's already south-bound tracksuit closer to a ground-zero situation. My eyes widened in terror as I thought of confronting his unkempt bits, so I quickened my pace and tried to look at something else. Thankfully I got past before I had to deal with the appearance of a scruffy scobie sausage, and I was greatful for it.
I was just getting back to thinking about food when they caught up with me at the next pedestrian crossing. I stole a glance over at Don Juan. 26-odd. Unshaven, with drooping, glazed eyes, slurred junkie speech. A few teeth, mostly black, with a brown crust/slime of something or other around his mouth. I was starting to feel sorry for the yoke that had been snogging him when it dawned on me that it was probably her that had deposited it there in the first place.
Then, without warning they picked up their bin bag and, ignoring the lights, stepped carelessly out into the heavy traffic in that way that all scobies do, such is their hurry to get to that meeting, send that email or make that deadline. Just after stepping off the pavement, Ms. Scobe farted audibly and giggled.
The female of the species is more ugly than the male.
For those of you that don't know him he's a squat little politician from Limerick with a dramatic moustache that looks like a small dog, and an annoyingly nasal voice. Willie appears regularly on RTE's Questions and Answers and besides saying "I didn't interrupt you" repeatedly, swats aside all difficult questions with pithy and withering ripostes, melting his opponent under the weight of the stare he projects from under his floppy fringe.
Anyway Willie is in the news because, unbefitting of a government minister, he supposedly told someone to 'fuck off' during a pub argument. John Bowman would have swallowed his own teeth had he been there to hear it.
Apparently some Limerick locals took issue with him on his Dáil performances since the whole Shannon row erupted - apparently Aer Lingus have pissed off a lot of people down there. Something to do with the loss of billions of euro in revenue as opposed to say, something more mundane like the lost luggage of a Mrs. O'Halloran from Annacotty. I admit my grasp of the story here may well be quite sketchy though.
In any case, after having his performance challenged by some bloke, little Jack Russell O'Dea snapped: "Who is that big p***k?" and allegedly called the guy outside for a scrap to settle things the old fashioned way, to which the man replied that if O'Dea was a bit bigger, he might consider it. O'Dea then reportedly told the man's female companion "I don't give a f**k about you."
The aggrieved parties spilled all to the newspapers and are seeking an apology but unrepentant Willie says he merely told them to "sod off". In other words, he didn't inhale kids, it's alright.
I believe everyone should have a tee-shirt with Willie's photo on it as he's one of those people you just want to laugh at.
The dangers posed by 'hilarious' PR photoshoots was underscored in Norn Iron recently when some daft bint dressed as a tomato sustained a spinal injury after getting clobbered by a gymnastics-attempting politician.
It was all bound to go wrong sometime or other and the inevitable happened when Bail-Fawst Lord Mayor Jim Rodgers, performing for the cameras, whacked the unsuspecting Lorraine Mallon, who was impersonating a tomato at the time to help the promotion of a gourmet garden event. A creative photographer had stumbled on the idea of having the Mayor leapfrog Ms. Mallon for that perfect comic photo but poor athletic prowess on his part means the whole fiasco ended in tears.
Unfortunately Mayor Rodgers isn't as spry and nimble as he thought and possibly tiring after three false starts (you only get two at the Olympics), he ended up walloping the unsuspecting Ms. Mallon across the back of the head with his knee as he attempted his final vault. She now has a slipped disc.
"I have been absolutely devastated over what has happened. There had been three false runs and I think Lorraine thought this was just another one. I just caught the top of her head and unfortunately I injured her," he blubbed.
"I'm very fit and look after myself, but it was just one of those unfortunate things," he added, trying to assert his masculinity despite having failed so miserably at this most basic of childsplay disciplines. Never let him do the conga or innocent bystanders could be decapitated.
Ms. Mallon meanwhile, has been off work since September 4th, and it's unclear if she plans to take up her salad-dressing career when she is upright again.
It's almost two in the morning. I'm still in work.
I'm having trouble getting my head round that.
I mean, apart from doctors, nurses, taxi drivers, delivery men, newspaper printers, prostitutes, nightclub barmen, Gardai, bakers, bouncers, night porters, radio DJs who play highly obscure music, shift workers, 24-hour petrol station attendants, industrious criminals, airport staff, security guards, lads doing road works, peeping toms, astronomers, Dracula, owls, foxes, hedgehogs, bats and imaginary creatures that plague childrens' imaginations, who the bloody hell else has to work at this time of the night?
I'm fucking hard done by I am, and no mistake. But I'm trying to remain cheerful.